Engineering and Technology
Cities are recognised as central to determining the sustainability of human development.
However, assessment concepts that are able to ascertain whether or not a city is sustainable
are only just emerging. Here we review literature since the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) were agreed in 2015 and identify three strands of scientific inquiry and practice
in assessing city sustainability. We find that further integration is needed. SDG monitoring
and assessment of cities should take advantage of both consumption-based (footprint)
accounting and benchmarking against planetary boundaries and social thresholds in order
to achieve greater relevance for designing sustainable cities and urban lifestyles.
Sustainability Assessment Program (SAP), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Copyright: doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23968-2 © The Author(s) 2021